When I Die

I hope I die tired from fighting in a country that has no billionaires in a state no longer ruled by bigots under a sky that's not choked with the detritus of capitalism -- I hope I die surrounded by a thousand languages none of which have a word for "border" but which have hundreds... Continue Reading →

On Joy

One of my students recently wrote that she's never felt joy. She admitted, as The Menzingers do in their song "Gates", that she's "old enough to know that happiness is just a moment" and that it isn't a state of being. It isn't sustainable. But happiness and joy aren't the same thing, are they? Joy... Continue Reading →

Violence

is separating a family at the border on the plantation at the auction block in the draft in Hiroshima in Nagasaki in Guatemala in Dresden in Aztlán in the segregated cemetery in the Depression in the recession in the drug war in the copay with the Muslim Ban in the propaganda of fear overtime the... Continue Reading →

Brokedick: A Memoir Excerpt, Part III

Now I still wear my Army-issue eyeglasses when I exercise. BCGs, Birth Control Glasses, because the idea is that no one will want to sleep with you if you’re wearing them. Though usually if you’re wearing them you’re already in Basic Combat Training and, rumor goes, you’re being fed saltpeter (Potassium Nitrate, fertilizers and fireworks)... Continue Reading →

Friends

Two studies, one published in 2011 and another published in 2019, seem to confirm two things that are probably obvious to most of us: Americans have fewer close friends now than Americans did 25 years ago (source). A quarter of Americans don't feel they have anyone in whom they can confide, and younger Americans (18-30... Continue Reading →

On Balding

I didn't notice until a few months ago. I just thought the hair on the sides and back of my head was somehow growing much faster than that on top. I thought that for awhile. I cut my own hair so you'd think I would have noticed but I've always assumed it was impossible for... Continue Reading →

Why I Don’t Travel

I got into a friendly debate with the lead singer of one of my favorite punk bands a few years ago. He had shared an infographic which indicated that rural southerners are the least likely of all Americans to have traveled abroad, and he suggested this to be the reason why the South is so... Continue Reading →

Why I Joined the Army

I saw Saving Private Ryan when I was 13-years-old. In recent years, I've come to realize how much it impacted the direction of my life. The 1998 film is well-known enough to not need introduction, though the introduction to the film itself is incredibly brutal. If my memory is correct, the film begins with the... Continue Reading →

Diary of the Nazi Years

I'm reading the 1933-1945 diaries of Victor Klemperer, a German academic of Jewish descent. Though a Christian for practical purposes, Klemperer's "ethnic" Judaism and his detailed, personal writing make his writing compelling. I read this for the same reasons that I've read the diaries of Anne Frank (Holocaust victim), Willy Reese (German solider on the... Continue Reading →

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